Jump to content

Recommended Posts

One of the best has already been mentioned. Hot chocolate with butter. However a thin grule of cream of wheat with one or two tablespoons of butter plus honey will also work. Also, I like a strong dark tea with butter, too.


Also, pemmican made with ground jerky, Crisco, and maple sugar will also do the trick....

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 49
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I am alway partial to smoked oysters and a nice warm mulled red wine...whoophs! were talking about keeping warm on a scout trip...scratch that...


try adding a bit more "fat" (butter, oil, etc to dinner and then munching a few handfuls of cashews (with "le voyageurs" cocoa and butter) makes a nice snack (hour or so before sack time)...same goes for a PB&J sandwich...I'd watch the strong tea though...adding caffine constricts capilaries making hands and feet colder, keeps some people awake and most teas are mild to fairly strong diuretics...bladder issues anyone? And many souls have no stomach for eating glops of solid baking "grease" even when camoflaged within a ball of jerky, sugar, nuts or what ever...even though the original Voyageurs ate it by the ton, made soup and even bread from it and never (reportedly) got tired of the stuff...to begin with start with the stuff you know you like and can "handle"


...by the way- as le voyageur notes: cream of wheat, oatmeal and a few other Canadian hot cereals when "loaded" with butter, honey or brown/ maple sugar) and lots of warm milk make a great, filling and fairly healthy hot "drink"... which can keep the home fires stoked all night...


thinking about this now I've gotta go find my cork screw...cheers


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...



Here are some things that help me stay warm in a tent and sleeping bag when it is cold.




1. Try to erect tents out of the wind if you can for one thing.

2. For tents that are longer than they are wide, try to erect the tent so that the length of the tent is in the same direction as the prevailing wind.

3. Try to not erect tents in a low lying area when it is cold will make them be colder. Cold air settles lower, warm air rises.

4. Try to erect the on a bed of natural insulators leaves, or pine straw can help.

5. Try to not erect a tent on snow or ice. They are both cold.

6. Always use a ground cloth under the tent. This will help insulate the tent and protect the tent floor.

7. Consider using another ground tarp inside the tent. It will help insulate the tent, and when the tent leaks (when NOT if) most leaks occur at or near the tent floor. The additional inside tarp will will help keep you dry becuase most of the water will go between the tarp and the tent floor.

8. Try to erect a tent where the late evening and early morning sun will shine upon it. The sun generates heat.



Sleeping pad/mattress/cot:

1. Use one or more foam sleeping pads under your sleeping bag whether directly on the tent floor or on a cot. If it is cold and I am not using a cot, I tent to put a closed cell foam pad on the tent floor and then put a self-inflating sleeping pad on top of that, then my sleeping bag on top of that. The closed cell foam will help keep you dry if the inside of the tent floor gets wet and doubling the pads will add more insulation beneath you and be more comfortable.


2. If you use any type of air mattress under you in the winter, make sure you have plenty of insulation between your sleeping bag and the airmattress. The airmattress, being beneath you will tent to hold the lower colder air.


3. If you use a cot, use plenty of insulation between your cot and your sleeping bag. Same reason, the air under the cot may be colder.



Sleeping bags.

1. Try to choose one that matches the temperatures for your area most of the year. If you live in a cold area, use a bag with a lower temperature rating. You may want to consider having more than one bag. One for warmer weather and the other for colder.

2. You can use a year around bag rated at say 40 dgrees and line it with an inexpensive fleece sleeping bag which will add 10 to 20 degrees more to the bag. Or you can use two regular sleeping bags, one inside the other. I don't care for mummy bags so I use rectangular bags.

3. I don't recommend putting your head (mouth and nose) inside your sleeping bag. Your breath has moisture in it which may condense inside the bag making it wet and maybe colder.



1. Don't wear anything in your sleeping bag that you wore during the day - including socks and underwear. They will contain the perspiration from your body which will cool and tend to make you colder. Change into clean dry clothing. Consider taking clothes just for sleeping. In mild weather I take a pair of athletic shorts and a t-shirt to sleep in and in colder weather I take a pair of sweat pants and sweat shirt to sleep in. Those items are for sleeping only.

2. Some advocate wearing little or nothing in the sleeping bag. If that works for you, great. if not:

3. Wear clean and dry underwear and socks in the sleeping bag. I suggest socks since your feet are the furthest from your torso and will generally be colder anyway. To that you can add shorts and a t-shirt or long johns or sweat shirt and pants.

5. Consider wearing a knit cap or balaclava (hood) on your head.

6. Also, use the latrine just before turning in and then try to stay in your sleeping bag all night. Your body heat will warm your bag and if you have to open the bag in the night, it will take a long time to re-warm it.

7. Try not to eat or drink much for an hour or so before bed. This will help prevent latrine runs during the night.

8. Keep items (flashlight, water bottle, medication, eye glasses, etc) you might need at night either in or close to your sleeping bag so you don't have to completely open your sleeping bag to reach the items.



1. I roll the clothes I plan to wear the next day in the foot of my sleeping bag as I don't like putting on cold clothing in the morning.

2. I try to dry out my boots/footgear after I take them off to dry them out a bit better. Your feet sweat - the moisture may freeze to ice - makes it rough putting them on the next morning. I dry them out with a small towel and put some foot power in them and then either stuff a wool sock in each or cover them with the towel. Seems to help.

3. Keep your jacket and gloves close at hand to put on as soon as you get up.

4. I keep my poncho near the tent door. If it is wet from use when I turn in, I drape it over the tent rather than bring it in the tent to get things wet (but I clip it to the tent so that it will not blow off).

5. Try to stay as clean and dry and warm as you can during the day and evening before turning in.


These things seem to work for me to help stay a little warmer in a tent.





Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again to all who replied. I just have a final question about food/drink. The two times I've awakened on these trips chilled to the bone, I've also been very thirsty. Already way ahead of you on the recommendation to cut down on liquids before bedtime, I try not to slurp down hot chocolate or much of anything else after about 7pm. Being female "finding the nearest tree" is not really an option, and it is truly beyond a hassle to find that bathroom at 3a.m. in the dark and cold. The thirst I'm talking about is not like any thirst I've experienced from heat or exercise or both. It is a demanding, give me water NOW kind of thirst. Is this a dangerous physiological symptom that my body is getting too cold? The first time it happened I had nothing inside my tent, all my water was outside the tent, so I just suffered without it. The next time I put a water bottle in the tent's convenience pocket near me, and sure enough, I had to sip on it in the night. Guess I should stash an energy bar or string cheese, too?


By the way, don't know what half of those high-fat foods you mentioned were, but most of them sound really disgusting, except for the Cream of Wheat with hot milk. Mmmmm.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Calls of nature at night in tents can be managed without a trip outside the tent.


Without going into a much detail, there are means of dealing with calls of nature in the tent - maybe easier for the males, but still manageable for all.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...